Dacian silver drachma
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Dacian silver drachma
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Dacian silver drachma
23 mm diameter, 8.645 grams, silver
head of Zeus
horse and horseman

The coin was struck somewhen at the end of the second century - first century before Christ. It is a representive type, called Adîncata (its description complying the coins in the Adîncata hoard). Coins of this type were found especially in the western part of Muntenia and eastern part of Oltenia.

These coins imitate the tetradrachmae of Philip II of Macedonia, that bore on one side the face of Zeus, wearing beard and wreath of laurel, and on the other a horseman and Greek legend FILIPPOU. Philip II reigned between 359 and 336 B.C., being the father of Alexander III the Great (Alexander Macedon).

Although only lacunarly matching the Macenonian original, still, the Dacian simplification shows a special creativity and a certain conception of the abstract spectacular in its nature.

Macedonian coins have been used on large scale in Illyria, Dacia, Thrace, as well as inside Asia Minor, being imitated not only by the Dacians, other peoples using the pattern as well. Due to the technical striking process, many of the Dacian drachmae have convexo-concave shape, the shape being called scyphused (after Greek skyphos, meaning cup).

The legend is entirely missing on the Dacian coin, the designed being reproduced by largely using straight lines and globules. Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga (History of Romanians, Ancestors before the Romans), wrote about the Dacian imitations of the Macedonian tetradrachmae: "...clumsy local technicians were giving scorched coins on which barely one can tell the countenance of Zeus and the horse...".

The coin is considered to be a didrachma because of its lowered mass. The original of Philip II is much heavier, being a tetradrachma.

The originals of the Dacian imitated Macedonian pieces can be seen on Wildwinds, tetradrachmae of Philip II being found at Ancient Coinage of Macedonia, Kings, Philip II.


The Dacian silver drachma pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. Adrian Popovici.


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